Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Ninus L. Hunt

Ninus L. Hunt, a member of the firm of Pfarr, Gebert & Hunt, general merchants of Denison, is numbered among the worthy native sons of Crawford county, his birth having occurred in Goodrich township on the 19th of October, 1855.

His parents, Alonzo R. and Margaret (Dobson) Hunt, were natives of New York and Ohio respectively. His great-great-grandfather on the paternal side came from England or Wales and was drowned in Long Island Sound. Captain Ziba Hunt, the great-grandfather, served as a captain in the Revolutionary war.

The following. communication was received in reference to his service:
February 7, 1911.
This is to certify that on folio 169 of volume XX of a series of manuscript volumes entitled, "Manuscripts of the Colony and State of New York in the Revolutionary War" in the custody of the regents of the University of the State of New York in the State Library is a land bounty right signed by the members of a class in Colonel William B. Whiting's regiment of Albany County Militia, district of Kings, and that among the members of this class is Ziba Hunt. (Signed) PETER NELSON, Assistant Archivist. In testimony whereof, the seal of the University of the State of New York has been affixed at the city of Albany this 7th day of February, 1911.
AUGUST S. DOWNING, Acting Commissioner of Education.

Captain Hunt, who was a tanner by trade, married Johanna Blont, a daughter of Ambrose and Johanna (Clark) Blont, and with his family removed to New Lebanon, Columbia county, New York, in 1780. He was born in 1746 and died in 1820. There were thirteen children born to him and his wife.

Walter Hunt, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of New York and a farmer by occupation. He was the father of a large family of children, including Amos, Elizabeth, Johanna, Amanda, Emily, William, George, Isaac, Alonzo R. and Jason Z.

Benjamin Dobson the maternal grandfather of Ninus L. Hunt, was born in Ohio in 1799 and became a miller. He came to Crawford county, Iowa, in 1851, laid out the town site of Deloit, named the place and there erected the first saw and flour mill. He lived to attain the age of seventy-seven or seventy-eight years, while his wife, who bore the maiden name of Keziah Wolf, was called to her final rest in 1863. Among their children were the following named: Thomas, John. Benjamin, William, Elihu, Margaret and Elizabeth.

Alonzo R. Hunt, the father of the gentleman whose name introduces this review, was reared in New York and followed farming as a life work. He came to Iowa in 1848, settling in Harrison county, where he wedded Miss Margaret Dobson, their marriage being the first to take place in that county. The year 1853 witnessed his arrival in Crawford county and here he held the office of county recorder. In the spring of 1857 he removed to Johnson county, Nebraska, settling on a homestead near Tecumseh. He acted as probate judge of Johnson county and at the time of the Civil war enlisted in Company D, First Nebraska Cavalry, serving with that command for a little less than a year. His demise occurred in the hospital at Omaha at the comparatively early age of thirty-seven years.

His widow returned to Deloit, Iowa, where she passed away on the 25th of November, 1905, when seventy-six years of age. She was a devoted and consistent member of the church of the Latter Day Saints. By her marriage she became the mother of six children, three sons and three daughters, as follows: Sarah A., the deceased wife of Lafayette Robbins; Amos W., who is a resident of Alberta, Canada; Ninus L., of this review; Mary L., the wife of John F. Goff, of Glen, Minnesota; Elder Charles J., living in Deloit, Iowa; and Cynthia, who died when about eighteen months old.

Ninus L. Hunt was born and reared in Crawford county and has spent his entire life within its borders with the exception of six or seven years' residence in Nebraska. He was reared to the work of the farm, drove cattle, broke prairie, and did all the other tasks incident to the cultivation of the fields, remaining under the parental roof until he had attained his majority. In the acquirement of an education he attended the district schools and also the public schools of Deloit, Iowa.

After completing his studies he followed the profession of teaching for five winter terms. while the summer seasons were devoted to fanning. While engaged in teaching he was elected to the office of township assessor, holding that office for seven years in succession. On the expiration of that period he formed a partnership with his brother. Charles J., and in September, 1882. they opened a general mercantile establishment in Deloit, conducting business under the firm style of Hunt Brothers for twelve years. N. L. Hunt then purchased his brother's interest and continued the business alone for four years before disposing of it.

In the fall of 1887 he was nominated and elected county auditor, being the first republican ever chosen for that office in Crawford county. He was elected by a majority of fifty, overcoming a democratic majority of five hundred and forty-three, and served for two years. In the fall of 1894 he was nominated for the position of county recorder and elected by a majority of forty-one, holding the office for two years. Subsequently he worked in the Bank of Denison for four years, being employed by Shaw & Kuehnle. At the end of that time he bought an interest in the concern with which he is now connected, becoming a member of the firm of Pfarr, Gebert & Hunt, general merchants. They enjoy an extensive and profitable trade and Mr. Hunt is widely recognized as one of the substantial business men and respected citizens of his native county.

On the 22d of February, 1880, Mr. Hunt was united in marriage to Miss Emma L. Mason, a native of Milford township, Crawford county, and a daughter of Jesse and Eliza (Johnson) Mason, who were born in Kentucky and Illinois respectively. They were pioneer settlers of Crawford county, Iowa, coming in 1850 and spending the remainder of their lives here. Their children were three in number, namely: Jane, Margaret and Angeline.

Jesse Mason, who was twice married, had the following children by his second wife: Matilda; David and Jesse, twins; John; Julia; Hiram C.; Emma L.; and Andrew J.

Mr. and Mrs. Hunt are the parents of three children: R. Blaine, who is working for a publishing company in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; and N. Leslie and Margaret, who are attending school.

In politics Mr. Hunt is a republican and, as previously shown, his fellow townsmen have honored him by election to several positions of public trust and responsibility. After serving as township assessor he was elected township clerk of Milford township, and served as secretary and president of the school board and as school treasurer in that township. For three years he was postmaster of Denison and has served as notary public and director of the normal school: Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen of the World and the Sons of Veterans. No breath of suspicion has ever assailed his good name and on the contrary he stands as a splendid type of the honorable, reliable,' successful man, the public-spirited citizen and the trustworthy friend.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.